Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanks to "My Girls!"

I just want to take this opportunity and say "Thank You" to my boobs. Yes, you read that right. And sorry if that's too 'graphic' for you. If it is, just stop reading now, come back in a couple days for my next blog post. A "Thank You" is the least that they deserve and I am going to feature them on this blog post (NO not in the form of a picture, don't worry I'm not getting THAT graphic!) to give them the respect and appreciation they've earned.

Seriously, I am going on my 14th month of breastfeeding (from the source), with never substituting formula or having to take any medication to increase my milk supply. My 'girls' have really pulled through for me (and ultimately for Tucker). It was hard in the beginning, that's for sure. Not as hard as it could have been, I've definitely heard some horror stories involving blisters and incorrect latches. Thankfully, I didn't have to endure that. Tucker had a champion latch right from the beginning. He was a slightly lazy eater in the beginning, meaning he would rather nurse for 5 minutes then sleep, wake up after 20-30 minutes and nurse again but that wasn't too difficult to correct and had nothing to do with 'the girls.' There was pain in the beginning, but that's normal. After all, there is a toughening-up process that has to happen! That was definitely not fun, but I made it through without shedding too many tears, with the help of some Lansinoh. [I fear that with baby #2 things may not go as smoothly...I'm really hoping they do!]

There were times when I wasn't sure I would have enough milk to send to the sitter's the next day (remember, Tucker never would take milk that had been frozen....My freezer is STILL half filled with frozen bags!). But, they would never fail me! I would pump and get exactly the amount I needed! There were times I would have just finished pumping and 15 minutes later Tucker would wake up wanting to nurse (I did a lot of on-demand feedings, wasn't-and still am not-a real stickler for a schedule). I would think, "He's not gonna get any milk out of these!" but sure enough, he would!

I was worried that with Tucker now nursing only a few times a day on most days and only for a few minutes with the exception of our morning feeding, that the amount of milk I produce would drop drastically. And, while it has in comparison to what I was producing, I am still able to pump what I need to send about 6-7 ounces to the sitter for the days I work.

I am really hoping that my 'girls' continue to pull through for me and that I'm not jinxing things by giving them their own 15 minutes of fame on my blog! I don't want to be forced to ween Tucker because I'm not producing milk. I'd rather it be because he and I decide it's time.

Which brings me to the 2nd reason for this post....

I am often asked how long I intend to nurse Tucker. Well, usually it's asked more like this: "You're STILL nursing!? It's time to stop!" When I started back to work in August, Tucker was only a little under 10 months old and people acted as though they could not believe I was STILL nursing. Not in the sense that "Oh, that's really good! Good for you!" but more like, "You mean you still have to pump through the day and I still have to schedule things around your pumping sessions?!" I'm glad my family and a handful of friends are supportive of BF and have been there themselves because sometime I feel like I am all alone in my efforts. Like I'm crazy for doing it this long. Hello! Breast milk is the BEST thing for Tucker! Why would I switch to formula unnecessarily? Even though he is now over a year old, he can still continue to benefit from my milk. I'd like to think the milk that God intended for him is somewhat better than that from a cow lol! If that makes me crazy, that's fine by me.

As for how long I intend to nurse Tucker, I'm not really sure about that. He doesn't have much of an affinity for cow's milk, though that's not the only reason I haven't weaned him yet. After all, cow's milk doesn't have as many nutrients in it as we are led to believe. After the process it goes through in order to be safe for us to drink, most of the nutrients and calcium are stripped away (though we do buy organic to get every bit we can!). {Ever read Skinny B*#ch? Scary!}

I'm not sure how long I'll nurse Tucker. Right now I don't mind it at all. Maybe I'll reach a point where I'm D-O-N-E and that will be the driving force behind weaning him. I would like to not have to pump while I'm at work, but I'm only doing that once a day now and I only work 2 or 3 days a week, so even that isn't bad. Right now, I would like for him to drink cow's milk (or even soy milk) through the day when I'm away from him and just nurse in the morning and night. I think if I really tried hard enough I could probably distract him through the day and get him to only nurse in the am and pm, but, like I said, I'm really not in a hurry to do so, right now anyway. Check back with me in a few months; maybe I'll be way over this whole BF thing by then lol! For the time being, I'm perfectly content with the way things are now (minus the pumping at work!) and I think Tucker is too!

I will promise you one thing (and this is what my sister always makes me promise), I will NOT be breastfeeding my 4 year old!

So, here's a pic of my little mommy's milk-drinking not-so-baby boy! He had just gotten done taking a bath, but had to get a quick ride in his wagon with his friends before going to bed :)
(By the way, we have finally installed a real gate at the top of the stairs, this picture is about a month old!)

**Disclaimer: This post is in NO way intended to make anyone who chooses to formula-feed their lil ones feel bad. Breastfeeding is a personal decision and as a mother, you know what is the best choice for your little one. It may be BF and it may be formula, or it may be BF for a little bit and then switching to formula. And that is just fine too! :) Either way, you rock! :)


melissaballard said...

Tiff, you are awesome. I just want to commend your level of dedication with the whole nursing thing. I honestly was "done" at 11 months, but Eli was too, so it made it easy. You and Tucker will be "done" when you are done, and that's what is best for both of you. Good job Mama!

Mama Webb said...

I agree with Melissa - I think it's amazing that you have given Tucker the gift of breastmilk this long. People thought I was crazy to pump milk until 9 months when Walker wasn't able to latch properly. But I wanted to give him that liquid gold as long as possible:). I know many women who have breastfed at least 18 months. You just enjoy that special bonding time that you have to nourish and cuddle your little Bug:).

Stover's site said...

Way to go! So proud of you! You trust your gut on these things. Just so you know... since I read this post last night, Martina McBride's song "this one's for the girls" has been going through my head non-stop. so funny!